Merchant of Venice/ Shakespeare

tragedy *Opera- when the ending of the play is less desirable than the beginning
comedy *operetta- when ending is more desirable than beginning -lighthearted, but don’t necessarily have to be funny
historical drama presents serious(important) period of history that Shakespeare considers worthy-most are tragedies(serious)
opera can have multiple acts, set to music for singers and instrumentalists, long
operetta short opera, light or humorous theme and usually has spoken dialogue
catastrophe in a tragedy when the TRAGIC HERO (protagonist)- an ordinary man- makes a fatal decision and TRAGIC FLAW brings him to his DOWNFALL
Iambic Pentameter iamb: unaccented and accentedpentameter: fiveten syllables in each lineline of poetry that is written in weak and strong stresses weak STRONG/weak STRONG/weak STRONG/weak STRONG/weak STRONG
blank verse un-rhymed verse (usually in iambic pentameter)
dialogue when two or more people are speaking
monologue when 1 person is speaking, it is a long speech made by one character
soliloquy one character by themselves, talking to the audience, thinking aloud about something
aside when a character talks to another character or the audience (turns aside) for a short remark
shakespeare characteristics written in blank versefemales usually play minor rolesforeshadowed tragic eventscomic relief
trubadors actors
minor roles for females women usually couldn’t travel with men because the career wasn’t secure or comfortable for them
foreshadowing tragic events supernatural happenings: given clues like owls hooting in the daylight, ghosts (dream about money bags)
comic relief when plot gets too serious or too heavy, a funny line or 2 is added
Dramatis Personnae written at the beginning of every play.original cast of characters, who shakespeare thinks are the most important characters *Portia is the most important in the merchant of venice(lady lawyer)
tragi-comedy readers decide what is it based on one’s morality *merchant of venice is the only play like this
20 scenes Scenes in the merchant of venice
Shylock has the most impact in the book
Portia determines the outcome
what shakespeare did made up new words wrote by the candlelight with a quill in blank verse
37 plays number of plays he wrote
514 sonnets number of sonnets he wrote
5 narrative poems number of narrative poems he wrote
anti-semitism -people against jews; in the middle ages they thought Jews killed christ-led by envy
globe theater where his plays were performed, there was a balcony and a throne for the kind and queen. -you could sit on the stage and throw stuff at the actors -poor people sat in a “pit” (dug out land)
orange girls “Sexy” girls that sold oranges during the play, theaters always sell orange drinks in respect of the orange girls
universal things that could happen anytime to anyone in anyplace
3 main conflicts portia choosing her husbanddaughter going to disobey her father(Jessica)conflict of the moneylenders
anti-hero character who lacks the attributes that make him a heroic figure-nobility of mind and spirit(respectable,good,kind)
villain malicious, cruel, evil character
irony with jessica jew-girl who grew up without a mother was raised to hate non-jews and not get involved with them, yet she runs away with one
heroic couplet 2 rhyming lines of iambic pentameter that finish a scene, or a soliloquy, or monologue
swan song swans sing an eerie song before they die -character’s final appearance
two concepts of God New Testament: turn your cheek (Christian God- merciful)Old Testament: an eye for an eye (Jewish God- strict)
Bard A poet who travels from place to place to spread news by telling stories. Shakespeare was known as “The Bard of Annon”
Antonio Starts out in the play as very sad and can’t figure out why (It is later thought that he has not realized his love toward Bassanio). His love for his friend Bassiano leads him to sign Shylock’s contract, almost causing him to lose his own life when his ships do not come back in time. As Shylock points out, he hates Jews and in the end, he proves merciful to Shylock.
Bassanio Good friend of Antonio, takes advantage of his money and doesn’t pay him intrest. Seeks the wealthy Portia of Belmont, but cannot make the journey unless he gets money from Antonio. Antonio has no money because he all of his ships are at sea, so they borrow from Shylock. Bassaino proves himself a worthy suitor when he picks the lead casket with Portia’s picture in it. Portia gives him a very important ring.
Neapolitan Prince only talks about his horse
County Palatine only frowns, even when he hears funny stories
Monsieur Le Bon French Lord: his personality’s is all over the place, “twenty men at once”
Falconbridge young baron of England: she doesn’t speak Latin, French or Italian so Portia can’t understand him
Scottish Lord he’s too forgiving: Englishman slapped him on the ear and he let him go without even slapping him back.
duke of Saxony’s nephew young German: a drunk
Gratiano A friend of Bassiano’s who comes along with him to Belmont. Bassiano is uneasy at first because he has a tendency to embarrass him. Supports him during trial. As Bassiano falls in love with Portia, Gratiano falls in love with Portia’s lady in waiting, Nerissa.
old Gobbo Lancelot’s father, a servant in Venice, blind, brings gift for his son’s master
Jessica Although she is Shylock’s daughter, she is ashamed of him. She runs away with a Christian named Lorenzo. She stole all of her father’s money and even her late mother’s ring which she sells for a monkey
Lancelet Gobbo Originally Shylock’s servant but leaves him because he was a Jew (Jessica is said that he is leaving). Goes to work for Bassanio. Bassanio gives him a letter to secretly give to Jessica. He is a clownish figure who makes lots of jokes.
Lorenzo A friend of Bassanio and Antonio. Falls in love with Jessica, the Jew’s daughter. Helps her escape and they elope to Belmont. He is late for the masquerade earlier.
Nerissa Portia’s lady in waiting. Urges Portia about Bassanio because she wants to be with Gratiano. Marries Gratiano and goes with Portia to Venice , disguised as a law clerk.
Portia A wealthy, smart lawyer from Belmont who is seeking a husband. Her father dies before she chooses a husband and is forced to follow his instructions (3 caskets). Despite the rules, she is still able to marry her love, Bassanio. Portia disguises herself as a lawyer from Padua and saves Antonio form the bond. “Tests” Bassanio by asking for the ring that she made him swore not to take off.
Prince of Morocco Black man who seeks Portia’s hand in marriage. He asks her to disregard the fact that hes black. Certain that the caskets reflect Portia’s beauty and stature, he picks the gold, which is proven to be incorrect.
Salarino A Venetian gentleman, and friend to Antonio, Bassanio, and Lorenzo. Salarino escorts the newlyweds Jessica and Lorenzo to Belmont, and returns with Bassanio and Gratiano for Antonio’s trial. He is often almost indistinguishable from his friend Solanio.
Shylock Jewish moneylender in Venice. Angered by his mistreatment at the hands of Venice’s Christians, particularly Antonio, Shylock plans to seek his revenge by ruthlessly demanding as payment a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Although seen by the rest of the play’s characters as an inhuman monster, Shylock at times diverges from stereotype and reveals himself to be quite human. These contradictions as well as his eloquent expressions of hatred, have earned Shylock a place as one of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters.
Solanio Frequent counterpart of Salarino
Prince of Arragon An arrogant Spanish nobleman who also attempts to win Portia’s hand by picking a casket. Like the prince of Morocco, however, the prince of Arragon chooses unwisely. He picks the silver casket, which gives him a message calling him an idiot instead of Portia’s hand.
Tubal friend of Shylock, a Jew
Climax the whole moment where shylock is deciding whether to take the flesh and when antonio decides what to do with shylock
symbolism Jessica stealing her mom’s ring symbolizes her cutting all ties with her family. When Shylock realizes its gone, he becomes extremely angry. This shows that the ring has sentimental value and he doesn’t just care about his money and business.-the caskets: Christianity
Salerio A Venetian gentleman and messenger. Salerio returns with Bassanio and Gratiano for Antonio’s trial.
duke of venice The ruler of Venice, who presides over Antonio’s trial. Although a powerful man, the duke’s state is built on respect for the law, and he is unable to help Antonio.
Doctor Bellario A wealthy Paduan lawyer and Portia’s cousin. Doctor Bellario never appears in the play, but he gives Portia’s servant the letters of introduction needed for her to make her appearance in court
Balthazar Portia’s servant, whom she dispatches to get the appropriate materials from Doctor Bellario.

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